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Ransomware attacks are moving forward quickly to target Industrial Control Systems (ICS) endpoints all over the world with a notable increase in activity in the past year.

The Trend Micro research paper, “2020 Report on Threats Affecting ICS Endpoints” calls attention to this dominant trend. The longer these systems are not operational, the more disruption it generates.

The report shows that recent ransomware attacks are just financially stimulated as attacking ICS networks in operational plants and manufacturing environments brings hackers a more rapid payment.

RyukRevil, and LockBit are some of the most popular types of ransomware used by threat actors in order to target ICS networks.

In terms of organizations that have ICSs that have been affected by ransomware, the US has the most ransomware detections impacting ICS, followed by India, Taiwan, and Spain, according to the report.

ICS Latest Ransomware Attacks

Multiple ransomware cyberattacks have been recently noticed targeting major businesses. Such disruption of Operation Systems and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) in major industries has caused grave consequences and loss of huge amounts of money.

On May 24th, WSSC Water has been hit with a ransomware attack where threat actors managed to access internal files but the water quality was not affected in any way.

In June, JBS Foods, the world’s largest meatpacking enterprise, declared that it paid an $11 million ransom to REvil ransomware threat actors following a cyberattack that forced the company to shut down production at several sites worldwide, affecting production facilities from United States, Australia, and Canada.

The recent DarkSide ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline showed how a ransomware incident targeting an industrial organization can have serious results for the entire country.

How to Defend ICSs Against Threats

In order to keep ICSs safe from threats, companies worldwide are required to regularly patch and update their systems.

Organizations can also execute micro-segmentation to increase security by limiting network access and communications to the necessary devices and protocols.

Adhering to the principle of least privilege, where employees are only given the exact level of access they need and nothing more, would also help minimize the chance of getting attacked or infected.

Author Profile

Antonia Din

PR & Video Content Manager

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As a Senior Content Writer and Video Content Creator specializing in cybersecurity, I leverage digital media to unravel and clarify complex cybersecurity concepts and emerging trends. With my extensive knowledge in the field, I create content that engages a diverse audience, from cybersecurity novices to experienced experts. My approach is to create a nexus of understanding, taking technical security topics and transforming them into accessible, relatable knowledge for anyone interested in strengthening their security posture.

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